Lighting in commercial buildings can significantly impact the "triple bottom line," improving the planet's sustainability through energy efficiency and boosting organizational profitability. Though, most importantly, lighting can improve the wellbeing of the people who occupy the space. The WELL Building standard includes lighting as one of seven core concepts of health. LED lighting projects have been a popular building improvement in recent years, for energy efficiency returns alone. Did you know that advanced lighting controls and automation can add efficiency and health benefits to lighting programs?
Lighting and the WELL Building Standard
This is the third in a series of 75F blog posts on the WELL Building Standard; the previous posts addressed comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ). The WELL Building Standard provides important guidance around the interests of human health, wellbeing, productivity and sustainability with a focus on the occupant. It includes benchmarks, goals and compliance requirements for owners and other building stakeholders. The WELL Building Standard covers seven core concepts of health: air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. We're focusing on light:
Lighting quality, lighting control, glare mitigation and your employees' access to light all help you progress toward WELL Building certification. Improvement of each lighting metric also boosts health and productivity among building occupants. In fact, one of the WELL Building features that advanced lighting controls help building managers achieve is "circadian lighting design." Light has significant influence on one's healthy circadian rhythm, which contributes to several important biological functions of the endocrine, digestive, nervous, muscular, immune and cardiovascular systems.
(An Advanced Lighting demo during a happy hour at 75F.)
In many cases, ensuring such positive impacts on employee health and energy savings would likely require substantial investments of time and money, including some possible re-engineering of your building and some significant rewiring. However, 75F can help you take the edge off and keep your CFO beaming!
Smart lighting controls can be integrated with the rest of your building controls, allowing for a wealth of precise data point collection, real-time visibility, automated scheduling, automated dimming and remote control. These capabilities enable compliance (at minimum) with the following WELL Building Standard features:
- Visual Lighting Design (WELL Feature 53): The design of your lighting elements, including how ambient light is directed, throughout your building impacts people's productivity, mood and ability to focus. Specifications for visual acuity for focus at workstations have been determined by task, time of day and location, including commercial kitchens. 75F can help you manage and balance brightness in an automated, user-friendly and energy saving manner. Photocell integration ties your lighting zones to indoor and outdoor light levels, and several occupancy detection methods are available along with adjustable daily scheduling on a single dashboard.
- Circadian Lighting Design (WELL Feature 54): As stated above, the circadian system is largely affected by light and regulates physiological rhythms throughout the body. The impacts on one's hormone levels and the sleep-wake cycle affect mood, cognitive ability, productivity and healthy resting ability. Specific cells in retinas work as photoreceptors to send signals to the body either to be alert and active or to reduce energy expenditure and rest.
Therefore, it is important to thoughtfully design and implement the lighting at workstations and in hallways, conference rooms, kitchens and throughout your building. This WELL Building feature requires meeting specific melanopic light intensities during the daytime at office workstations, including breakrooms and learning areas. Specific melanopic lux levels are also required in living environments, in the case of residential buildings.
75F photocell integration, zero- to 10-volt dimming control, occupancy detection, and automation and scheduling of indoor and outdoor zones can help you meet WELL Building standards and save energy. ROI is often less than one year, and it is even quicker when worker productivity and health gains are factored into the equation.
- Automated Shading and Dimming Controls (WELL Feature 60): Managing the lighting in your building is necessary to maintain adequate and best possible light levels throughout each day. Manually managing shading and dimming takes the time of both building managers and occupants. Automation and scheduling keeps everyone happy and unhindered by glare or lack of quality light.
75F scheduling, as depicted above, remote control, photocell integration and occupancy detection have you covered for shading and light fixture dimming programming.
- Daylight Modeling (WELL Feature 62): This is also aimed at ensuring healthy circadian rhythms and energy levels among building occupants. The architecture of your building can help to reduce the amount of artificial light necessary to illuminate spaces and to mitigate sunlight overexposure in any area. The WELL Building feature defines "Spatial Daylight Autonomy (sDA)" as the percentage of floor space receiving adequate sunlight and "Annual Sun Exposure (ASE)" as the percentage of floor space receiving too much direct sunlight. The goal is to find a balance between the two and minimize ASE.
75F can work with your architect to balance your buildings percentages of natural and artificial light, and the 75F Advanced Lighting solutions can also ensure this balance continuously meets the WELL Building Standard by measuring light levels and providing you with nearly instant feedback as things change. This is a very important consideration, as light levels change dramatically from summer to winter months, and through the day with weather patterns.
75F Advanced Lighting is an easy-to-install and implement solution that saves time and money. It fully integrates with 75F HVAC control solutions on the Facilisight building management platform, and it's competitive with lighting control panels, due to the ease of installation and streamlined design. An electrician is only required to land all circuits and pair modules during installation.
As you have seen in our other two WELL Building Standard posts (Thermal Comfort and Indoor Air Quality), 75F can help improve the health of your building and its occupants in several ways that can boost your bottom line. Our solutions reduce maintenance issues, energy expenses and time spent manually adjusting lighting, heating and cooling levels.
We look forward to speaking with you soon!